Our words create worlds. Selah (pause, think on, reflect).
We live in an era where words are thrown around casually, loosely, and also intentionally. Whether in written or spoken our words carry power to inspire purpose and life or cause soul destruction. Yet, I’m not too convinced we understand the power of our words. One day we are happy as clams and see the world full of sunshine and roses. Later on in that day, we find ourselves muttering under our breath, complaining, venting, and spewing more spiritual air fumes than a dirty exhaust.
Our words create worlds. What world are you creating?
This question has been ringing in my life for probably more than a month now (honestly, I’m not sure how long because my sense of time is something to be desired on the best of days ha ha ha ha ha just ask my hubby 🙂 ).
Our words create worlds no matter the form they take (written, spoken, or sung). We have the power to define not only a person’s outlook on life but also of themselves. This, in turn, begins a self-fulfilling prophecy (particularly when they’ve received the same message over them multiple times).
A self-fulfilling prophecy can be thought of as a circle. In this circular pattern, our actions towards the people around us, including the words we speak, affects their behavior towards us. This behavior then dictates their actions to us which goes and reinforces our perception of them. And on it goes. (For more on self-fulfilling prophecies go to Study.com)
People take that message as truth thus making it part of their values and belief system. This defines their behavior. To think, it all started with a word:
Words were in the beginning
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3 (NIV)
When God began to create the earth, he spoke. The instant God commanded light to come forth, light penetrated the darkness. Each part of creation God spoke it into being. He spoke to the earth to bring forth vegetation (Genesis 1:11); the stars, moon, and sun (Genesis 1:14 ); the animals (Genesis 1: 20-24); the water (Genesis 1:9); and so on.
The same power lies in our words. As those created in God’s image and adopted as His children, our words carry weight and authority. The question for us all to think about is:
What kind of world do you want to create?
I want to pause here for a moment to bring in this verse:
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. James 3:2 (NIV)
It’s ok that we’ll sometimes offend people with our words. Jesus offended the religious leaders of his day regularly. There is grace for us to make mistakes and stumble as we learn to partner with God in speaking his heart and words into this world.
James 3:6-8 shows us the tongue is wild. It takes intention and humility to submit our words to God. Part of walking out our salvation is learning to bring ourselves under the Lordship of Christ.
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:6-8 (NIV)
Thank the Lord for grace and mercy.
Still, our words create worlds. We need to learn to not speak every word we think. Secondly, we must realize the words we continually speak cause us to focus on that reality until it dominates our frame of reference and thoughts.
For example, if I keep focusing on how hard life is and how much we struggle financially, I’m allowing myself to focus on the negative. Out of my mouth flow words coated in negativity, resignation, frustration, and desperation. The more I talk about it, the more I speak this cycle of life into reality. Before I know it, I’m living in my own self-fulfilled prophecy.
Our words create worlds and shift atmospheres.
Let’s say I am struggling financially and life is a series of unfortunate events. I see the facts but I choose to speak hope, life, promise, and breakthrough into my situation. I might say something like this:
Things are looking up. I’ve got a prospective client and I’m trusting God for favor. This is our season and we’ve seen God’s provision and goodness. Things are turning around.”
Now my words are giving me hope and promise.
What about identity?
Our identity is largely shaped by our parents and what they think of us. Figures of authority, teachers, pastors, grandparents, etc also influence our identity. If a child hears they are academically inclined that child will apply himself more to his studies, proving those words true.
Or these people of authority and closeness may say:
“You’re always in your own world. We can’t relate to you. You’ve got no social skills.”
Now I begin to believe this message and become reclusive and a “loner” confirming these people’s opinions about me
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. James 3:10 (NIV)
What world do you want to create?